September 16, 2003

Twitchy Nic

matchstick.jpgAudiences love to laugh at/with the twitchy those characters whose neurotic foibles border on the manic but still seem containable, understandable and ultimately human. The character Tony Shaloub plays on his USA detective show, Monk, Adrian Monk is a perfect example of this. He's not "dangerous" in his disfunction, just on the other side of unusual which makes him interesting and dramatic to watch. Nicholas Cage's character in Matchstick Men, the new Ridley Scott movie released last weekend, Roy is also from the same mold with his obsessive compulsiveness and agoraphobia. Except, because Matchstick is a Hollywood film, the movie implies that Roy's compulsions spring from a moral dilemma, his guilt over being a con man and having ruined his marriage. Cage makes Roy essentially a good guy, and without giving away too much of the twisting plot, finds him redeemed in the end. This is not to say that Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman don't all give very likable performances but isn't this a pretty simplistic way to look at plot and characterization? Cinecultist doesn't know about you but we don't go to grifter movies to be moved by uplifting characters. A needling point in an otherwise enjoyable bit of cinematic fluff.

Posted by karen at September 16, 2003 9:25 AM